Poverty, extra income push more to hunt in South Africa

Global Business

Poverty, extra income push more to hunt in South Africa

South Africa is indirectly leading to the rise of illegal game hunting. CCTV Africa’s Leslie Mirungu reports from Johannesburg.

Poverty, extra income push more to hunt in South Africa

Poverty, extra income push more to hunt in South Africa

South Africa is indirectly leading to the rise of illegal game hunting. CCTV Africa's Leslie Mirungu reports from Johannesburg.

Just before dawn on a Saturday morning, and the chase is on. Fanaboy, his fellow hunters and their dogs are tracking prey on a private game reserve outside Johannesburg.

The early start means they stand less chance of being caught, and a better chance of making a kill.

“I like to hunt the meat, I don’t like the meat from another pusher, I like the meat from the animal, I like this one, the meat has a vitamin,” Fanaboy said.

The group spots a herd of wildebeest, but this time the buck is too big and escapes. Fanaboy is unemployed and has a family to support. If he gets caught, he faces a fine or jail.

Animal rights groups say the practice of hunting with dogs is barbaric. While a minority may be motivated by poverty and hunger, many are doing it for money.

Isabel Wentzel, Manager of the Wildlife Protection Unit at NSPCA said this type of hunting used to be about food with only one or two people with their dogs.

“Nowadays what has happened, they are actually using it more as a sport – and a part of gambling as well,” Wentzel said.

Back at the hunt, it’s been two hours and the hunters haven’t caught anything. But the sun is rising now and it’s time to leave – before Fanaboy and his pack become the hunted.